Monday, April 8, 2013

Cape Cod, a perfect off-season retreat

Our girls are both competitive Irish dancers.

Their sport started modestly, with local classes from the age of 3, through the ranks of beginners and novice, prizewinners and Championships.  The exchange for the hundreds of hours of practice and training has been the opportunity to compete on a World Stage - and this year, the 43rd annual "Olympics" of Irish Dance was held in Boston, USA.

We arrived in Boston a few days early, and headed south to Cape Cod.  Since it was our first adventure to the New England States, we hoped to explore a bit of coastline and sample the local seafood and chowder.  Provincetown was still very quiet (end of March is early in the season), but still eclectic and colourful under the grey skies.

We had a wonderful cozy night at the Provincetown Inn, excellent off-season value including breakfast for 4, under $100/night.  Our amazing oceanfront view was transformed to a winter wonderland with a heavy dump of wet snow while we slept.

Dinner was recommended at a local eatery called Napi's, and was artfully prepared with fresh ingredients then served by a friendly hostess.  Our daughters enjoyed the collection of seafaring treasures displayed on the walls and shelves, and had a rousing game of "I Spy" while we waited for our meals.

The hotel featured a turn-of-the-century fireplace with sofas pulled close, and the quiet of the building created a perfect refuge from the storm.  The next morning, we headed for a quiet seaside hike across snow-covered paths to the water's edge, where only a few gulls braved the chill.

Travel doesn't have to mean going full speed ahead.  Sometimes the best part is allowing yourself some down time, without over-scheduling your family into every possible activity to see and to do.  Kids need to learn to sit and engage in thoughtful conversation.  They need to be given time to rest and focus, especially if their daily life is hectic.  We all need balance.

This quiet, reflective time, especially before a major competition with its accompanying stress and pressure and physical demands, allowed our family to "refuel".  Cape Cod in March.  Ideal!


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